May 3, 2020 at 10:03 am #352776
Hello beautiful people.
First of all I would like to say that this is a wonderful place and I am glad I found this community. I have been reading several topics and replies and the energy that is flowing between these lines is very powerful.
I am a 27 years old guy, about to turn 28 in a couple of days and… I am not doing so good… mentally.
During this time of quarantine I’m finding myself having way too much time to think, and this is the core of the problem I am about to discuss..
To briefly explain the type of person I am, I am a very spontaneous guy, I have always followed my heart and my spirit, which guided me to travel to many places and accomplish goals that I am very proud of (Tv appearances, University degree, lived in different places around the world), and my mindset has basically gotten used to feed off new impulses and new scenarios every now and then.
I love experiencing new things… it might sound naive to some people but I have “Freedom” tatted on my arm surrounded by butterflies, because freedom has always really meant the world for me. It’s my true nature.
I would say I am a good listener, I truly care about what somebody is going through, and I am always ready to try my best to give the perfect advice for any specific situation… but I’ve come to the conclusion that this is not something that works when I am the one who has a problem.
I have been living my life completely hugging this sense of freedom that I am so madly in love with, from taking good and bad decisions, taking many risks and jump into different situations quickly, to have an active sex life without commitment… but so many things have changed in the last year.
– I recently quit smoking cigarettes, and smoking was something that used to put me in a good mood all the time, and that (due to how nicotine works with your brain) would elevate any experience I was living to a superior level. I did it for my health because I am still young and if I stop now I know that I can have some great benefits in the long run, but it might sound insane but a part of me “misses” that old version of me, and every situation was just better… fuller…
– I recently feel more “settled”, both in my sentimental life (I am in a serious relationship) and in my work like (I am involved in a project that has always been a dream of mine). And I just find myself in a stagnant position where I have on my hands what I have always wanted… but… is this really what I want?
– I no longer feel the electricity that I used to feel even a year ago. That sense of wonder, that would come with me every night I would go out, or any experience I would jump into. Because I feel like I am losing “reasons” why I am doing things…
With my birthday approaching, the quarantine, the thoughts, and these new emotions… I have started to taste depression for the first time in my life… and it doesn’t taste good at all. Staying at home is also leaving this dark feeling of time passing before my eyes, and I feel like for some weird reason my mind thinks that my life is over… and I am just re living the happiest moments of my life. I try to keep myself busy, I recently started reading some books about Zen and Buddhism (big help), I like video games (and that they make me feel like time is not passing that much like I’m thinking), I work out and I keep my creativity flowing with my job even from home. But something inside just broke. Today I have just been without any energy for the whole day, and I just feel like something is just swallowing me alive, and slowly… Too many thoughts… Too many steps away from the person I used to be. Maybe I just don’t like growing up… Maybe I am not ready to change this time, even tho change is what I have always craved for… Maybe there is something that the universe is trying to tell me? But should I listen or should I keep on going? I mean… I have a wonderful partner and a dream project on my hands so, why would I even think that?
But there is some kind of beauty in that past version of me…. single… without a solid project on my hands, walking the city streets with headphones on my ears trying to see where life could take me… that my soul apparently truly misses…
Was I really alive when I had nothing or am I truly lost now having more?
Help. thank you.May 3, 2020 at 12:08 pm #352890
“I love experiencing new things… I have ‘Freedom’ tatted on my arm… there is some kind of beauty in that past version of me… single.. walking the city streets with headphones on my ears trying to see where life could take me.. Was I really alive when I had nothing or am I truly lost now having more?”-
– I wonder about a version of you before the one you mentioned: earlier in life, as a child, when all you needed was to be safe, before you longed for freedom?
anitaMay 3, 2020 at 3:05 pm #352930
Thank you for replying, you brought a very interesting point to my mind.. I never really thought about the version of myself prior to the one I’m so attached to… Before falling in love with freedom I guess I was a different child trying to find his own dimension.
Being born in a small town and having big city dreams, and having a lot of characteristics (like different sexuality, different passions, goals) that weren’t really reflecting the standards of my hometown, made me crave freedom more and more day by day.
Do you think that my discomfort derives from that specific version of myself?May 3, 2020 at 4:54 pm #352950
You were “born in a small town and having big city dreams”, your motivation was to get out of that small town. Fast forward, you are now in a serious relationship and you are involved in a project that was a dream of yours.
Your relationship and project are now your small town, and you want out again.
“And I just find myself in a stagnant position where I have on my hands what I have always wanted… but… is this really what I want”- stagnant in your (new) small town.
The undesirable small town is inside you, and if you aren’t on-the-move, you get stuck in the same home/ same town where you grew up (or grew in).
What do you think?
May 3, 2020 at 5:07 pm #352956
- This reply was modified 3 months ago by anita.
Great point! Wow!
It’s like the “small town” became an internal feeling more than something external.
I can feel it… The constant desire to escape a situation, never compromising. But this could end up being an eternal run for some kind of Utopia. It’s like I keep running and escape small towns but maybe… what I need to do is to slowly destroy that small town I have inside of me, and build a paradise that could stay with me no matter where I am in life…
Maybe was that small town I grew up in a sort of trauma?
Was the feeling and the fear of being misunderstood and out of place the reason why my soul can’t just settle? Always remembering the past… or focused on a future that hasn’t even manifested yet… hardly ever living the present, because maybe there is a chapter in my past that I haven’t fully closed yet?
What do you think Anita?May 3, 2020 at 5:41 pm #352966
Yes, I think that there is a chapter, a very significant chapter in your past that you haven’t closed, or resolved, so you keep re-living it every time you settle into a new small town.
“was that small town I grew up in a sort of trauma?”- yes, I think so, a sort of trauma.
Will you tell me about your own, personal small town experience of childhood, about that “feeling and fear of being misunderstood and out of place”?
(I will soon be away from the computer for about 12 hours).
anitaMay 4, 2020 at 1:31 am #353022
Thank you for your words and your time Anita..
You really gave me some interesting points to go over in my head today, in fact, I went out for a walk around my neighborhood this afternoon and meditated about what you just said.
The things that come to my mind when I think about my childhood in the small town I grew up in… are…
1) The feeling of being a fish out of water.. about everything: from the way I wanted to express my creativity, my passion for music that wasn’t shared by anybody around me, the way I wanted to dream big, the isolation due to my different sexuality (at that time around 2006 up until 2010 it was still a taboo in my town) and even the passion for the English language (English isn’t my first language) that also wasn’t shared by anybody around me. The environment was just feeling not “meant” for me… Therefore I remember spending many many days in my room all day and until late at night, in front of the computer, where the world I really wanted was easily accessible by early social media, videos and chat.
2) The weird feeling of being connected to something I wasn’t even close to… I’ll explain this in details: I am very lucky to have a wonderful family that has always supported me in my decisions, and even financially when I needed it. But when I was a teenager I remember that I just couldn’t find my happiness in anything that was surrounding me. I would find a negative aspect anywhere I’d go because the reality that I knew was meant for me was so incredibly far that I wouldn’t even try to be happy with the little things… plus you know, when you are a teenager sometimes you tend to face things in a different and more immature way. But I always had this vision that if I moved far away, somewhere like the USA or Australia, I’d be happy. And that’s why I was connected to something that was technically so far away… My happiness belonged to a fantasy.
3) The pressure of being in a family of hard workers. The people in my family are really strong, and they built a successful company out of nothing… they are role models and their work ethic is impeccable. But being born in a family of hard workers has always made me feel very under pressure… even now sometimes (now even more with the uncertainties that this pandemic is bringing). Being born in a family of manual workers, that use sweat and manual work in everything they do, and then me… with a more creative passion, and now in the entertainment industry… having these 2 completely different worlds so close to each other and trying to find a balance has always been a challenge… Or maybe I’m the one who thinks it is a challenge because I feel the pressure, while my family just genuinely wishes the best for me, since they never stopped me and have always supported me.
Maybe sometimes I am just too hard on myself. I think too much. I focus on aspects and situations that don’t bring me anything that I could benefit of… just more thoughts… but I’ll tell you something Anita.. when I finally got out of that small town for the first time, when I was 19 and moved to Sydney, Australia for 7 months to study English and try my first work experience abroad, I felt something that I can’t even fully describe in words… pure soul liberation, like I was born again, but better this time. The feeling of being so far away from everything, alone on these new bright streets of this new big city, so young and full of youth and hunger for adventures and new experiences… that hunger for life is a memory that won’t ever leave my heart.
Nothing, not even being on television or getting a Bachelor degree will ever compare to the joyful feeling of being alone on the other side of the world, so young and free… I don’t even know how my parents managed to let me do such a thing, I can’t even imagine how hard it should’ve been to see your 19 years old son fly away and not knowing where he’d be sleeping at night… but they knew how much it was important for me… they saw the tears and the sadness I grew up with, and they gave me that experience as a present, a bridge to my happiness. And I won’t ever forget that.
Sorry if this message is a little long but I wanted to share with you this beautiful part of my life. The most beautiful up to date.
Hope you have an amazing day, and I’m interested to know what you think.May 4, 2020 at 8:35 am #353058
You are welcome.
* The growing up in a small town experience, for you, was 19 years of the “feeling of being a fish out of water”.
How does a fish out of water, having spent many days in front of the computer watching images of water (“I remember spending many, many days in my room all day and until late at night, in front of the computer, where the world I really wanted was easily accessible”), feel when he finally finds himself in water?
Answer: “pure soul liberation, like I was born again, but better this time.. so young and full of youth and hunger for adventures and new experiences.. that hunger for life”.
Here is the problem: the feeling of finally being in the water, it’s mostly about the transition from outside the water to inside the water, that’s the intoxicating part. Similar to a very hungry person getting his first piece of bread in days. It may be stale bread, but it sure tastes the best ever. When the hungry person is well fed, nothing is going to taste that good.
The fish out of water/ small town experience: “The environment was just feeling not ‘meant’ for me”- living on land is not meant for a fish. A fish does need to be in water. Problem is if the fish expects the that intensity to last, and when it doesn’t, he gets alarmed: why am I not feeling that intensity anymore???
That intensity is not sustainable, it has a time limit. Got to adjust to reality: life is not going to be that great, like it was when you first arrived at Australia. You can chase that feeling but it will be like trying to hold on to something slippery, a moment here, a moment there with lots of “My Soul is Getting Lost” experiences in between those rare moments.
* Your parents read like good people, genuinely wishing the best for you, having supported you throughout.
* “The environment was just feeling not ‘meant’ for me..I always had this vision that if I moved far away, somewhere like the USA or Australia, I’d be happy… I focus on aspects and situations that don’t bring me anything”- since childhood you are in the habit of being unsatisfied with where you are and looking forward to being someplace else.
Even though you currently are someplace else, a place that does suit you well, you are dissatisfied because you are in the habit of being dissatisfied wherever you are. Still in the habit of feeling good when imagining moving far away.
Let me know what you think/ feel and we can communicate further.
anitaMay 4, 2020 at 12:45 pm #353102
Yes… I can definitely relate to what you said… I feel like “not being satisfied” is a parasite that has always lived inside of my body without even realizing it. And that is insane because if someone would’ve told me where I’d be now when I was a teenager I would’ve said that you’re joking, because where I am right now (living in the USA, working in the entertainment industry) is actually more than what I could’ve dreamed of… and yet… I’m here not feeling satisfied.
I feel like there is some weird energy around this birthday as well… I’m starting to feel the unnecessary feeling of the clock ticking and its another thing that causes me dissatisfaction. But am I really worried about turning 28 or is this parasite having fun and playing tricks on my mind making me think I’m dissatisfied?
Sometimes parts of you take over, and you can become their puppet if you don’t react, and I really want to react.
You opened my eyes on a chapter in my life that I wasn’t even considering… I was so focused on what happened from my “Australia phase” and never really paid attention on the “Small town phase”. You gave me a great birthday gift Anita, you gave me a new perspective!
What should I do now to dive deeper? What would be the next step to feel better? And how do we attack this parasite in my mind?
Hope you’re having a great day, and thank you.May 4, 2020 at 1:30 pm #353112
You are welcome and thank you for your expressed appreciation.
“how do we attack this parasite in my mind?”
I wouldn’t call it parasite, but a habit of the mind, having a habit established in your brain where you look elsewhere for that emotional intensity (sitting in front of the computer growing up, dreaming about that elsewhere and then being there, Australia).
What’s next is breaking this mental habit and replacing it with a new habit, doing the two things simultaneously.
Certain guided meditations and mindfulness exercises are the ways to break mental habits and establish new ones. Do you have experience in guided meditations and Mindfulness, any experience with yoga or tai-chi?
anitaMay 4, 2020 at 2:41 pm #353134
This rings a bell and reminds me that I have quite an addictive personality. Like the smoking cigarettes, or the habit that we just discussed, and I usually have times where I get addicted to something for a period of time until I get bored and I pass to something else (which ties perfectly to the habit to look for emotional intensity elsewhere).
Yes I have experience in meditation (not guided) but I’m not doing it constantly, I should really work on my consistency.
I don’t have experience with yoga or tai-chi though, and they sound really interesting. Do you recommend one of these practices specifically or a combination of all of them?
Thank you again Anita.May 4, 2020 at 2:50 pm #353140
I recommend tai chi (if you live in Southern California I recommend a tai chi teacher aka sifu to you). It is a very slow motion martial art form that slows down the brain like nothing else, it is an excellent mindfulness practice.
Mindfulness is a huge element in modern psychotherapy, and it includes guided meditations with the mindfulness theme as well as slow moving practices like traditional yoga, tai chi and other practices.
At the time, when I had therapy, part of my homework from session to session was to listen to Mark William’s mindfulness guided meditation series. I think you can download it free online.
(I will soon be away from the computer for a couple of hours).
May 4, 2020 at 3:02 pm #353146
- This reply was modified 3 months ago by anita.
Yes I live in Los Angeles, and thank you for the recommendation. Tai Chi sounds really interesting, and I would love to try it (once the world returns to normal). Meanwhile I’ll start reading about it and getting informed.
Also, I saw a beautiful post in the category “Emotional Mastery” titled “Emotional Learning Journey”, and I found some similarities in what we have discussed. Do you think I should go more in details within myself or have we already discovered 100% the root of my discomfort?
I don’t know how to thank you enough, you are really helping me a lot in this phase I am going through and I feel like thank you is not enough. I appreciate you.May 4, 2020 at 4:03 pm #353156
You have thanked me enough (I am smiling right now for the first time today, and it’s almost 4 pm, so good enough!)
You are welcome to go more in details here, if you want to. There is never 100% seeing, there is always more to see/ learn. You can use this thread as your emotional learning journey: take the leadership in your own learning journey here. I can participate in your journey, in this context.
anitaMay 4, 2020 at 4:28 pm #353166
It brings me joy to read that and I appreciate it a lot.
Before we dive deeper into this emotional learning journey I actually have a question for you. I am reading a lot about the Zen philosophy these days, and I am currently studying the Noble Eightfold Path in detail. I have read a lot about happiness… and how it’s something that is right here within myself and not an external feeling. That it’s a mean to get somewhere and not the final destination. And that does not depend on external accomplishments. And I understand this, my brain registered this information and my mind agrees with it. But how do I actually apply it to my everyday life? How do I feel the happiness that apparently is inside of me everyday.. Is the Noble Eightfold Path the way to do so? I read that its the path within myself to help me end the suffering, therefore is it the key to happiness? I’m trying to understand the “How”. And that would probably help to start breaking this habit of being unsatisfied.
What do you think?